Highlighted Text: 1 Cor. 15:17
Full Text: Job 29; 1 Cor. 15

Command | God commands us to forgive others – regardless of the severity of the harm or the number of times it has been done [1]. But He doesn’t merely tell us to forgive; He gives us the power and ability to forgive. As John Bunyon wrote:

Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,

Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids us fly and gives us wings [2].

Wings | What are the wings of the gospel that give us the ability to fly in forgiveness? Our experience of God’s inexhaustible mercy and love. He loved and died for us before we were born and, throughout our lives, He pursues and adopts and forgives us – even when we have no thought of Him [3] or lack faith in Him [4]. Therefore, we can endure and forgive anything because God’s love for us and Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and our inheritance in Christ are infinitely inexhaustible resources [5]. Yet Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” [6]. What does the resurrection have to do with anything? Isn’t our forgiveness accomplished by the crucifixion? [7]

Evidence | If the Father did not raise the Son from the dead, then there is no evidence that He accepted Christ’s sacrifice as sufficient. The reward had to be given. If his sacrifice was not accepted, then we are still in our sins, bearing guilt under condemnation and living apart from fellowship with God. In other words, if Christ was not raised, then we are not forgiven – which means we have no power or ability to fly in the forgiveness that God commands.

Ability | But Christ has been raised – which means that God eternally established all of his promises. He validated Christ’s blood and death when He raised him from the dead. Therefore, we are no longer in our sins and we have the power and ability to forgive others out of our experience of God’s inexhaustible forgiveness.

Prayer | Lord, You have given us forgiveness in Christ’s death and definitive proof of your approval in his resurrection. Therefore, we glorify his name because it answers our greatest need – that is, the need to be forgiven – so that we can commune with you. Thus, in light of these infinitely powerful wings, let us fly in forgiving others. Amen.



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[1] See Matt. 6:14-15; Col. 3:13; Mark 11:25; Rom. 12:19; Luke 17:3-4Matt. 18:21-22.  |  [2] Although this is traditionally attributed to John Bunyon, it’s debatable. See here.  |  [3] See Rom. 5:8  |  [4] See 2 Tim. 2:13. See also Hosea; Psalm 145:8; 103:8; 86:15; Rom. 8:14-17.  |  [5] See Psalm 145:8; 103:8; 86:15  |  [6] 1 Cor. 15:17  |  [7] See Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7